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How are you this January? What do you think about the tradition of saying ‘Happy New Year’. A greeting, 3 words we should say to each other in the first week in January? Does it have meaning for you? Have you ever said it and not really meant it? Sometimes we can really be on autopilot, other times just caught up in what we think we should say (even to a total stranger). Alternatively, have you ever said HNY and really, really meant it, perhaps to a lover or your best friend. Someone you really do wish to have a wonderful new year. My curiosity is how do we differentiate our true meaning if we say it to all the people we come across. Or should we just do it because it is polite and we ‘should’. What do you think?

It is a month where many of us make new year resolutions, yet the odds of us keeping them longer than January are stacked against us. Why? Well one reason might be that many of them are based in the negative (so starting with ‘I won’t’/or ‘I’ll stop’..) which can mean one small slip into action and we think we have blown it. And we often choose to remove from our lives one of our coping strategies, a thing that soothes us, emotionally regulates us, something we might associate with enhancing our happiness. And.. we do this to ourselves in what may be one of the trickiest times of the year (we might be low on money, think we have nothing much to look forward to, dark and cold days, less socialising, perhaps less time with family, etc). Perhaps we almost punish ourselves for the excesses of December. What if we were kinder to ourselves and more forgiving to ourselves at this time of year?

For me, I do a reflection list on New Years Eve as I cannot think of a change of direction unless I know where I’ve been, and then I think of an affirmative resolution (intention). So this year I aim to drink more water and take more walks. Limiting my possibility of failure to a minimum, prolonging my chances of making it past January. What are your resolutions for the year? I’ve told you mine! I’ll let you know in December if I kept them.

If the new year leaves you feeling down, with a low mood you can’t shake or you feel overly anxious for the year ahead talking it through with a counsellor can really help you to see through the clouds to brighter skies just ahead. Keep warm Sue x

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